Annual Report: Bosnia and Herzegovina 2010

Report
May 28, 2010

Annual Report: Bosnia and Herzegovina 2010

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Head of state rotating presidency - ?eljko Kom?i?, Neboj?a Radmanovi?, Haris Silajd?i?
Head of government Nikola ?piri?
Death penalty abolitionist for all crimes
Population 3.8 million
Life expectancy 75.1 years
Under-5 mortality (m/f) 17/512 per 1,000
Adult literacy 96.7 per cent

The country continued to be increasingly divided along ethnic lines. Progress in prosecution of war crimes cases committed during the 1992-1995 war remained slow. The authorities continued to fail to address the situation of women who were raped during the war by not providing them with adequate access to justice and reparations.

Background

Relations between members of the three main ethnic groups – Serbs, Croats and Bosnian Muslims (Bosniaks) – worsened dramatically. Some senior politicians used increasingly nationalistic rhetoric. In some instances this took the form of public, verbal attacks on state institutions, including on the independence of the justice system. Some politicians made statements denying certain war crimes had ever taken place, even though the courts had passed verdicts on them, and convicted those responsible.

On several occasions Serb representatives boycotted state institutions, paralyzing their work.

Talks facilitated by the international community to strengthen the state institutions and amend the constitution ended in failure in October.

In response to the economic crisis the authorities announced a reduction in the social welfare budget. This disproportionally affected the most vulnerable groups and was met with public outcry.

The international community continued to maintain its presence in Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH). In March Austrian diplomat Valentin Inzko replaced Miroslav Laj?ák as the High Representative – head of a civilian peace implementation agency created by the 1995 Dayton Peace Agreement. The High Representative also acted as the EU Special Representative.

The EU continued to maintain its peacekeeping force with approximately 2,000 troops as well as a police mission with approximately 150 international staff.

In October, BiH was elected as a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council for the 2010-2011 term.

International justice

At the end of 2009, seven war crimes cases concerning BiH were pending before the UN International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (Tribunal). In addition, three cases were on appeal.